Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won’t cost you anything. This page explains how small businesses can make a complaint about a financial business, and gives an overview of our process.
What's the process?
Our timeline below shows what should happen and when.
Talk to the financial business first
You should give the financial business you’re unhappy with a chance to sort things out before bringing your complaint to us.
Let them know what the problem is, and how you’d like them to put things right. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact us and we can help. The business needs to give you their final response within eight weeks at the most, depending on what you’re complaining about.
If you’re still not happy, bring your complaint to us
If you’re not happy with the response you get from the financial business – or they don’t get back to you – you can ask us to get involved.
You need to get in touch with us within six months of the date of the business’s final response to your complaint (though there are some exceptions to this rule – find out more about time limits affecting your complaint).
When you get in touch, we’ll need to know:
- some information about your business, such as your approximate turnover and who’s authorised to make a complaint on behalf of your business
- what the problem is, and how you want things put right
- details such as the policy number or account number that your complaint relates to
We’ll look into your complaint
Once we’ve checked your complaint is something we can help with, we'll start to investigate.
When we look into your complaint, we’ll:
- ask the business you’re complaining about for their side of the story
- weigh up the facts of what’s happened, fairly and impartially
We'll let you know what we think
Once we've got all the information we need, we'll let you know what we think.
If we think there’s just been a misunderstanding – we’ll explain why. But if we decide you have been treated unfairly, we’ll tell the business you’re complaining about to put things right. We’re able to resolve most complaints this way.
If you want to take things further
If either side disagrees with what we think, they can ask for a formal decision from one of our ombudsmen.
One of our ombudsmen can look at things afresh, and have the power to make legally binding final decisions. If you don't accept the ombudsman's final decision, you can still take your complaint to court. Because the courts take a different approach, their answer might be different to ours.
Putting things right
If we decide the business you’re complaining about has done something wrong, we’ll ask them to put things right.
We can do that in a number of ways – including asking the financial business to pay your business compensation.
We're here to help
You don’t need to pay anyone to complain for your business, such as a solicitor or a claims management company – although it’s up to you if you’d like one to help you. It's usually more straightforward to hear from you directly, and we’ll explain anything you’re not sure about.